Raising Special Kids and Mesa Public Schools Partnering to Develop MPS Special Education Advisory Council

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Mesa Public Schools and Raising Special Kids are pleased to announce a new project in parent and family engagement as we embark on the creation of the Mesa Public Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Though this project is new, collaboration between Mesa Public Schools and Raising Special Kids is long-standing. In 2013, Raising Special Kids was honored with the Mesa Public Schools Ray Rafford Community Award for support to special education students. For decades, our organizations have partnered in the shared work of special education.

The primary mission of the Mesa Public Schools special education department is to provide appropriate programming for all students with educational disabilities. The department promotes programming that will accomplish the successful transition of disabled students from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, independent living and community participation.

Since 1985, Raising Special Kids has served as Arizona’s Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) under part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The primary purpose of the PTI is to provide training and information that meets the needs of parents of children with disabilities to enable their children to meet developmental and functional goals, and challenging academic achievement goals that have been established for all children; and be prepared to lead productive independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible.

The Mesa Public Schools SEPAC will provide direct input to school district leaders about policies, programs, practices and services that have an impact on students with disabilities and their families. Its purpose is to advise, advocate and offer guidance to increase the proactive, productive involvement of families by seeking their input in ways that can be used to shape Mesa Public Schools’ special education policy.

The selection process for parent council membership is underway and being led by Mesa Public Schools principals and school site leadership teams across the district. The goal is to ensure broad representation of parents and family members of students in special education. The SEPAC will meet three times in winter and spring 2020 to establish a working structure for meeting and convening, and to develop common goals for the council and district.

If you are a parent of a child in special education, who attends Mesa Public Schools and would like to be considered for membership, please contact the principal of your child’s school.

Theresa Baca
Executive Director, Special Education
Mesa Public Schools

Christopher Tiffany
Executive Director
Raising Special Kids

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